The fourth season of Dinotrux is here (on Netflix now!), and we sat down for a quick chat with executive producers Ron Burch and David Kidd about where the show is and how far it’s come.
GeekDad: We talked for the podcast just after Season 1 premiered. And now here we are at Season 4! So, first of all, congratulations! Is the story entering uncharted territory now?
Ron Burch & David Kidd: Thanks! We’re thrilled that kids and their parents love the show so much and that Netflix wants to keep making it for them. Not sure about “uncharted territory,” but we’re definitely exploring the outer reaches of the Mechazoic map in Season 4! The trux and tools discover all kinds of new Dinotrux and Reptools in spectacular environments we’ve never seen before – snow, ice, ocean, and even inside a volcano!
GeekDad: How many more seasons until we see a huge Mechazoic asteroid? (I’m trying to think of an appropriately clever name for it…The Casteroid?)
RB/DK: Ha! That’s always a joke in the Writers’ Room. We’ve even toyed with near misses and gags about it. But the truth is, that if we think of Dinotrux in geological time, the Mechazoic Era is probably hundreds of millions of years long so…we’ve got more episodes than The Simpsons before an asteroid would hit.
GeekDad: The show was originally signed up for three seasons, so I’m assuming the powers that be over there at DreamWorks like what you’ve been doing. Again, congrats! Can you talk about how much more we’ll see after this coming season?
RB/DK: DreamWorks has always been very supportive of the show and our vision for the show. We’ve pushed the boundaries for little kids’ television visually and storywise; and the studio, and Netflix, have stood by us. And it seems to spark the imaginations of our audience, which is the really gratifying part. We definitely have many more exciting adventures brewing for Ty, Revvit, and the gang, and we’re always thinking up new, cool Dinotrux we’d like to see. The big secret is that we make the show for ourselves – what we’d like to see, where we’d like to go; we’re still just kids, really.
GeekDad: Dinotrux was the first “original” DreamWorks property for Netflix, and by that mean it wasn’t tied to one of their feature films. Since then, Voltron: Legendary Defender and Trollhunters have premiered and gotten a huge response from fans. So I guess it’s safe to say you did your job and proved that an original show with new characters could succeed. Have Joaquim, Lauren, and Guillermo given due respect?
RB/DK: We always knew that our characters and stories would win the day after the novel concept of Dinosaur Trucks got the audience’s attention – and we’re just grateful that the studio and Netflix trusted us to pull it off. It’s funny that you ask about Joaquim, Lauren, and Guillermo because their offices are right next to ours so it’s kind of like the original show neighborhood at the studio. But yes, we all watch each other’s shows and cheer each other on. Part of the fun of being at DWATV is that you get to work around so much talent and so many people you’ve admired or worked with on other projects. It’s very exciting.
GeekDad: I’m curious if, in your interactions with young viewers, you’ve seen a crossover between fans of the show versus the books. Are kids coming to the show from the books or discovering the books because of the show?
RB/DK: We do see crossover between readers of the books and viewers. And it goes both ways. In addition, there are a lot of new titles based on the show and that ends up being another point of entry for kids or another way to have fun with their favorite characters.
GeekDad: This isn’t the first rodeo for either of you; Dinotrux isn’t your first project by a longshot. But I wonder what you’ve learned over the past four seasons. Anything you couldn’t have anticipated?
RB/DK: Most of our work has been in live-action television and film and animated and live-action/CG-hybrid movies. So this was our first 3D CG animated TV show. And the biggest surprise was probably that the process is closer to live-action than it is to the 2D process. The blocking, camera placement, lighting, and editing processes are just like live-action – except that your stage, props, and characters are virtual. And the timeline of course is much longer than live-action TV and closer to film.
The thing we didn’t anticipate was probably just how much we would fall in love with the show and these characters – their “humanity” gets under your skin. We’re very glad we got to create the show and are very proud of it.